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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jumpseat Therapy

I told her that perhaps I should go back to being a hetro and she and I could get married. "Umm hmm," was her reply. We've flown together for years. And, I must say, we all learn a lot from each other in what we call Jumpseat Therapy. That's what you learn, hear and experience when sitting ass-to-ass with a co-worker for every takeoff and landing. You hear about kids, school, holidays, marriages, sex, food, hotels, Bible lessons and the like. And, honestly, it's quite entertaining at times. Like today.

She tells me she's got a pooched out belly. And, lo and behold, that bad girl was poked out like she was about four months with child. She even lifted up her uniform vest for added effect and to make sure I could see her distended tummy. "Too much flax seed," she tells me. "I just knew I shouldn't have taken it before flying," she adds. I told her to go into the lavatory (I know, I know, they aren't called "lavatories" anywhere except on the airplane....) and get rid of whatever it was that was giving her that alien-like effect. Sort of like Sigourney Weaver with that Alien thing. "Maybe you should belch or go and pass gas," I professionally suggested....with my bitey personality begin to rear its head. "I've tried," she tells me...."I'm in bad shape." I honestly don't think that her blue polyester could have stretched out much further without the seams unraveling.

The girl is from Alabama. Nothing wrong with that. Except that it gives me fodder for giggles and fuel for the laughing fire. She and I can go at it for a bit.....feeding off of one another's comments and jokes. We've even been told that we should have our own TV show on Comedy Central. She tells me about her Momma and her family members who used to be in the Klan. And I tell her about my early childhood girlfriends who made me do naughty things to them and about my churchgoing days. She's amused.

And today she is clutching a bag. One of those orange plastic ones from the AT&T wireless store...you know, the kind that you bring home fancy new electronic devices in? That kind. She's grabbed that bag by the neck like a turkey headed for slaughter. It's her clutch, she says. I suggest, perhaps, that it's more a satchel or European Carry All. And we laugh. She continues on to tell me that it is, indeed, her purse. That another flight attendant actually talked her out of her purse -- he (yes, HE) told her that it would be perfect for taking to his soccer matches. So, she gave it to him. Yes siree, she actually gave him her purse. And now she's stuck with this wadded up orange ball of plastic with all of her worldly belongings in it. She toted that thing from the lavatory to the galley and back about 62 times today. All the while strangulating it by the neck. I wonder if it had contraband in it? Probably just some mad money, a chicken leg, and a spare tampon.

We had to sit down for quite a while today. Lots of turbulence and the Captain requested that we sit. Which left us plenty of time for reading, giggling, and making fun of passengers. Yep, we do. Well, I do, anyway. So, I'm enjoying my memoir of some distant gay guy author type when, just out of the corner of my eye......I spot something. The words "Fatal Attraction" are staring me in the face. She's holding up a copy of National Geographic or some other magazine with an article titled Fatal Attraction. Oh god, it's beginning to feel like the movie....with the rabbit and pot of boiling water. And then she fans through the magazine pages with all sorts of phallic pictures and artistic sorts of work. And some other scary pictures of a plant eating bugs.

That belly never did release its contents. It was just as far out at the end of our trip as it was to start. I suggested Gas X or something. And then I told her how nice it was to fly with her again. And we agreed that it was nice to be together after a holiday. And that reminded me of an old church song....."We're together again, just praisin' the Lord.....we're together again, in one accord....something good is about to happen, something good is in store.....we're together again ..... just praisin' the Lord." So, I sang it to her. Out loud. On the jumpseat. And with that, our day ended. Well, after the laughing died down. It's all in a day's work, really. I hope she gets rid of that horrible plastic AT&T bag by the next time I see her. And her gas. The gas has got to go.


BosGuy said...

Your story makes me think of when my partner flew for UAL and all the stories he had. Ea. leg of ea. flight was always an adventure depending on the crew and purser.

Mike said...

So you actually DO talk about us passengers! Hope your friend's belly has retreated by now. Tell her to lay off the flax seed already!

anne marie said...

isn't it nice to have friends with whom to share some VERY interesting moments?

Ur-spo said...

I enjoy your flying stories; you have an elegant wit in your prose too.

Lemuel said...

Very enjoyable. very human.

Ron said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my first time reading of your blog. You're different. I like your style.

Anne said...

i need to meet her.